CLEVELAND — The last remaining commercial carrier flying out of Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport is suspending operations.
Cincinnati-based Ultimate Air Shuttle announced in a statement that it will be suspending flights after December 16 until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Forecasting business travel in 2022 is a challenge with travel restrictions by multiple corporations still in effect and new ones taking place," Ultimate Air Shuttle's statement read. "When the virus finally dissipates and normal business activity returns, so will Ultimate Air Shuttle. We will provide updates as Ultimate continues to evolve in this pandemic environment. Thank you for all your support over the years!"
Ultimate Air Shuttle began offering daily routes from Burke Lakefront Airport to Lunken Airport in Cincinnati in 2015. It also flew from Cincinnati to Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ultimate Air Shuttle ceased service in the spring of 2020, then resumed earlier this year.
The company positioned itself as the place to get "VIP jet travel for the cost of commercial" on its 30-seat aircraft. The Cleveland-to-Cincinnati route was especially popular for business travelers. Ultimate Air Shuttle says its sister private charter company, Green-based Ultimate Jetcharters, will continue to offer on-demand charter travel for groups up to 30 passengers.
The news about Ultimate Air Shuttle's suspension of service comes during a uncertain time for the future of Burke Lakefront Airport. Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb has previously said he was in favor of closing the airport as the city ponders the future of its lakefront area. Ohio gubernatioral candidate Jim Renacci told 3News' Mark Naymik that he is also in favor of closing Burke Lakefront Airport to better utilize the lakefront.